Tips For Living With Multiple Cats
Todays post is for anyone who is considering having more than one cat in the house. My tips for living with multiple cats’ comes from my experience with seven cats’ in the house. My first cat Soxs has been in the house for five years. My oldest cat Alexis is turning 10 years old this spring and has been in the house for 2 years. The rest of the cats’ range from 1 1/2 years to 3 1/2 years old and have been together for approximately two years. I have raised three of them from kittens, three were adopted and Roxanne was found outside. We believe that she was dumped by someone because her socialization int the house was very easy. It should be mentioned that the three kittens I have raised were found loose outside also and if they would not of been rescued would have died through the winter. For more information on each cat follow this link to Meet The Kitties.
Bringing these cats’ together under one roof had its moments, but was not as dramatic as on might expect. Each cat has its own personality and it has been interesting watching behavior change as I watched them grow up. Cat experts recommend isolation time for new cats’ and a slow socialization to new feline family members. I did not follow this advice. None of my seven cats’ were difficult personalities, but each had their own quirks.
Soxs is my first cat. His first experience with a new cat was typical with apprehension and some confrontation. There was no isolation time, however the house is big enough for each cat to find a place to hide. One of our rescues, Rufus hid for a few weeks. He became comfortable at his own time and then loved to be with Soxs and loved to be around people. Unfortunately he passed away after three months due to some unknown medical issue. He was a magnificent cat and I miss him still.
When Lacy came she was dropped off and her first few weeks were stressful for her. She cried and hid. She wanted out and one day she escaped and stayed out for two weeks. When we got her back her personality changed dramatically. She liked being in the house and having regular meals. She lost a lot of weight during her holiday and I had to live trap her to get her back. She had another personality change when the kittens Esther and Ariel came. Lacy went off her food and became lethargic. Vet visits found no medical issues. She got medicine to increase her appetite. She overcame this issue and now she defends her self from over playful kittens. Lacy has recently become more friendly and loves getting brushed and cuddled.
Tenzin came to our home from a pet rescue. We brought him home and just opened the carrier and he came out when he was ready. After he got out he cautiously moved around the house. He kept to himself a lot. His socialization was done on his time. He did not like people handling, but now he loves to get brushed and goes to my wife and asks for brushes. He sleeps with my wife and now plays with Soxs and the kittens. He has grown and changes daily.
Alexis is my oldest cat. She likes to be alone and does not trust the rest of the cats’. She will stand on the cupboard at feeding time with the rest of the cats’, but will let everybody know when she has had enough close company. I hold her and groom her as mush as she will let me just to let her know she is loved.
Ariel and Esther were found as small kittens in the bush. They grew up together and have no fear. Esther likes to torment the older females just for fun. She plays with everybody else and generally does as she pleases. Ariel has grown up to be a handsome boy. He does not like to be picked up much, but I do cuddle him as required. These two were only isolated when they were very small so that the dogs or older cats’ would not hurt them. When they were big enough to look after themselves they were released into the clowder. Ariel like to push glasses of water onto the floor.
Roxanne was our last rescue. She was isolated for three days until the vet visit. Then we just let her out with the rest of the cats’. Soxs didn’t like her at first and I had to break up a couple of fights. None of the fights were crazy, but I would break things up as soon as possible. Roxanne was the easiest and quickest socialization I have seen. She must of been a house cat before I found her.
The socialization process at our house was always monitored as there was someone home almost all the time. We did leave them alone as necessary and when we came home everybody was in good shape. We still do see some nose scratches now and then, but never any serious wounding. When it was necessary to break up a hissing session I would pick up the attacked cat to show them they were protected. I have not had to do this for a long time. We have had good luck with quick socialization. We have a broad range of ages and almost even mix of male to female. Isolation might be necessary to prevent disease and parasites being introduced into your house.
I take our cats’ health care seriously. They get regular vet visits and I will go to the vet as required if something pops up. The same goes for my dogs and horses. If you want to keep your vet bills down the key is to feed a good quality food and always have lots of clean water available. Dental care is an overlooked item. If your cat will let you brush their teeth that would be the best. If not a water additive could be a possibility. There are tooth care formulas that you can apply with your finger into the cats’ mouth. I am trying one of these and I will report back on how it works.
It is necessary to have a relationship with a good vet. I have recommendations on vet criteria on my “Maintaining Your Cat” page. If you have health care questions ask your vet first. Do not give your cats’ people medicine and use homeopathic remedies only after professional consultation.
Have a litter box for each cat and one extra. Keep it clean and use fresh litter. I have recently replaced most of our litter with pine pellets with good results. We keep one box with clay litter and four with pine pellets. Yes it violates the rule for boxes but our house is not that big. We clean the boxes a lot to compensate. I do not recommend self-cleaning litter boxes. The litter box is the key to your cats’ health so I like open litter boxes with tall sides. See my Products Page for more information.
Extra cats’ mean extra house cleaning. Vacuuming and sweeping should be done as required and if you think it should be done then it should be done. I clean water bowls and feeding bowls every time I use them. Since we switched to pine pellets for litter the house is cleaner. If the cats’ are not using the litter box it might mean its not clean enough or there might be a medical issue. A cat with a urinary tract infection will start to pee everywhere. None of my cats’ spray or mark. This is due to everybody being spayed or neutered. If you have to clean up a urine stain please refer to my Pet Urine Stain Removal post.
How To Know If You Have To Many Cats
Having lots of cats’ is great. I could not give up any of them. If you can’t keep the house clean you might have to many cats’. Other factors would be if a person could not afford food or health care. Cats having unwanted kittens is a problem. Please don’t find yourself in a hording situation. Get help as required.
Something that must be considered is to have a plan in place if you find yourself not being able to be a care giver. A will or a responsible person must be available to look after your cat or cats’ if something should happen if a person can’t provide the necessary care. If you don’t provide your cats with a responsible and caring attendant they will probably end up at a shelter or worse.
That’s my story for today. Its nice to have my seven cats’. I love them all. It’s best to only have the number of cats’ that you would be comfortable with. Now it’s time to hug a kitty and do something green for the environment. Please leave a comment below especially if you want something discussed.